And more

Alper et al. found positive results for pre-literacy skills in children 2;6–4;0 from an evidence-based parent training program (based on this review). In an interesting twist, children of mothers who had an external locus of control (believe events in their lives are outside of their own control) made greater gains, possibly because mothers with an internal locus of control (so, they believe they can influence their environments/life outcomes) gave kids more literacy instruction at baseline, rather than waiting for teachers to introduce the material.

Hartley et al. found that children with ASD had difficulty with fast mapping compared to typically developing peers with similar receptive language abilities. Interestingly, when children with ASD received social feedback (such as a person pointing to the novel object), they learned new words more accurately compared to kids with and without ASD who received non-social (such as a flashing light above the novel object) or no feedback.

Henbest et al. found second graders in general education parochial school classrooms made gains in morphological awareness following a training an SLP provided to two teachers. The teachers successfully implemented scripted morphology lessons in their classrooms and gave positive feedback about the training—which included an initial meeting, a two-hour module, and was followed up with weekly 10–20 minute check-ins with the SLP for 8 weeks. Check out Table 1 for descriptions and examples from the activities.

Ingram et al. found that 5- and 6-year-old children with childhood apraxia of speech had difficulty with vowel duration perception, compared to typically developing children, suggesting CAS may have a perceptual component. 

Parents are constantly translating children’s communicative gestures (e.g., child points to a cup) to speech (Do you want the cup?), and earlier work on monolingual children has found that doing this boosts children’s word learning. Limia et al. followed monolingual and bilingual (Spanish–English) children over time and found both parent groups were equally likely to translate gestures and all children (monolingual/bilingual) acquired words at about the same rate.

Marra & Micco modified an existing communication partner training model for the mother of a 16-year-old with Down syndrome who used an AAC device. After the individualized training on aided language modeling, she reported feeling more confident in supporting her son, and she noted that he used his device more effectively. Appendix A lays out the eight-stage training model.

Pimperton et al. designed a computer-based intervention that had positive effects on speechreading skills and vocabulary for 5–7 year old Deaf children. The students played the outer space themed games for 10 minutes a day, 4 times a week, for 12 weeks. Even though the researchers didn’t see the progress in literacy skills they had hoped for, the gains noted in speechreading and vocabulary were significant—and it’s exciting to see randomized controlled research in this space! 

Children exposed to abuse or neglect may show delays in various developmental areas, including language (see here for a meta-analysis). Snow et al. found delayed expressive narrative skills in these children, though there was considerable variability. These findings are especially important since these are the same skills kids need when they are interviewed by authorities about their experiences. We’ll keep you in the loop on future work on assessment, treatment, and advocacy for these kids.

In a systematic review of the evidence surrounding the use of ultrasound, Sugden et al. concluded that ultrasound visual biofeedback can be effective for individuals in the initial stages of motor learning and for a range of targets, but less effective for generalization to untreated sounds or words. Current research evidence is “lower quality,” but more robust studies are popping up all the time! See more here and here.


Alper, R.M., Hurtig, R.R., McGregor, K.K. (2019). The role of maternal psychosocial perceptions in parent-training programs: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Language. doi: 10.1017/S0305000919000138.

Hartley, C., Bird, L.A., & Monaghan, P. (2019). Investigating the relationship between fast mapping, retention, and generalisation of words in children with autism spectrum disorder and typical development. Cognition. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.001.

Henbest, V. S., Apel, K., & Mitchell, A. (2019). Speech-language pathologist-guided morphological awareness instruction in the general education classroom. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. doi:10.1044/2019_PERS-SIG1-2019-0003.

Ingram, S.B., Reed, V.A., & Powell, T.W. (2019). Vowel duration discrimination of children with choldhood apraxia of speech: A preliminary study. American Journal of Speech–Language Pathology. doi: 10.1044/2019_AJSLP-MSC18-18-0113.

Limia, V., Özçalışkan, Ş., & Hoff, E. (2019). Do parents provide a helping hand to vocabulary development in bilingual children?. Journal of Child Language. doi: 10.1017/S0305000918000594.

Marra, L., & Micco, K. (2019). Communication partner training to increase interactive communication using augmentative and alternative communication: A case study. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. doi: 10.1044/2019_PERS-SIG2-2018-0012.

Pimperton, H., Kyle, F., Hulme, C., Harris, M., Beedie, I., Ralph-Lewis, A., … MacSweeney, M. (2019). Computerized speechreading training for deaf children: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research. doi:10.1044/2019_JSLHR-H-19-0073.

Snow, P. C., Timms, L., Lum, J. A., & Powell, M. B. (2019). Narrative language skills of maltreated children living in out-of-home care. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2019.1598493. 

Sugden, E., Lloyd, S., Lam, J., & Cleland, J. (2019). Systematic review of ultrasound visual biofeedback in intervention for speech sound disorders. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12478.